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Francophonising UB: How Decree Created Bias Admission



It is important to note that every Cameroonian whether Anglophones or Francophones have equal rights to gain admission into the University of Buea (UB) after securing the necessary requirements . However, UB was created in 1993 to meet the aspirations most especially of citizens from Anglophone Cameroon in the spirit of completing the Anglo-Saxon education.


Cameroon admission into the Commonwealth was based solely on the English part of the country and more importantly, her English institutions like the University of Buea. Statistics show that Francophones benefits more than Anglophones from Commonwealth scholarships etc. The bilingual nature of the Cameroons in the sub-Saharan region should greatly benefit Cameroon and extensively her citizens. The Constitution of the country places English and French as the two official languages of the country, thus, all state institutions must promote bilingualism to its fullest. As such bilingualism should be on an equal phase and should not in anyway weight in either culture. Anglophone institutions must learn to respect their heritage and try as, much as possible to avoid cultural and linguistic assimilation. However, is this the case currently in the Cameroons? It is far to be seen. Each day, the Anglophone sub-educational system is threatened with moves from the largely Francophone government.


The case at the University of Buea is different. While the University should open her arms to receive our francophone brothers, it should be done on the field of fairness and justice to the Cameroon populace and it should not be to the detriment of thousands of “English-speaking Cameroonians” (Anglophones) who could not gain admission to the University even though they have the required points necessary to be admitted into that program. We recalled that, when the University of Maroua was created, the indigenous people bullied the regime and requested the greatest share of students into the institution in which Mr. Biya willfully gave in. In Buea, Bakweri/ South westerners indigenous people had never requested for more positions into UB and, Anglophones understands fully what is called Cameroon Unity and Integration. The admission into UB medical school and most recently admission of students into the UB technical Higher institute into Kumba has seen an influx of Francophones- a somewhat desired move


The University of Buea is and has been or will soon be “francophonized”. Let me enumerate.

Firstly, we must have known about this event in UB called the English intensive classes. This is a placement test where Francophones without ordinal level English are taught for 2-3 weeks. At the end of the exercise, they are made to take exams and a certificate is offered. Those who passed are then admitted into UB. This is different for the Anglophones even if they have the required cut-off points. Let us take this scenario: We have two Cameroonians, A and B. Cameroonian A has studied all his/her life in English from nursery to High school. He/she has 25 points but failed the ordinary level English. Cameroonian B meanwhile has studied all through his/her life in French and just made 6 weeks in UB trying to study the language. He/She has 25 points also. Cameroonian A though having the required cut-off points is not admitted into UB, while Cameroonian B with similar cut-off points is admitted into UB.


I fully believe that the essence of English knowledge in the University is for communication and understanding since English is the language of instruction. Cameroonian A and B are all going to read biochemistry. They are not going to read English as a subject or literature in English. The use of English is just to ascertain that someone could follow up studies effectively in English. Now amongst Cameroonian A and Cameroonian B, who is more apt to better follow-up studies and do well in biochemistry? Therefore, we could see clearly that, the decree which created UB endorses bias admission process of Anglophones into the institution. The debate of why they have to fail English at Ordinary Level is for another day. BaretaNews cannot understand the reasons behind such a decision.


Therefore, Anglophones who have studied for 14 years in English, they can read, write and understand English perfectly in their areas of studies, yet they are refused a place at the University of Buea even after having cutoff points in the studies they wanted to pursue. Francophones who must have undergone French education all through their life, because they undertake an English placement test after six weeks of studies, some of which even bribe huge amount of money to pass are admitted into the University. This is not fair. The policies of the government and the University should change towards this.


In foreign Universities where students are admitted from other countries, they are requested to show proof that they studied in English and could undergo their studies in English. Some are requested to take an English exam as a proof and bring forth a certificate especially those not from English speaking countries. BaretaNews thinks that the same should happen with UB. There is no need refusing admission of an Anglophone into say a political science program even with required cut-off points into UB because he/she could not make it at ordinary level. It is this platform proposal that another chance should be given to the Anglophones who didn’t have O/L English to undertake the same placement test as the Francophones or provide an English proficiency to show that they could undertake their studies in English.

God is still saying something.

1st published 14th August 2009 by Eden Newspaper,
Edited and re-published on 15th June 2015

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